COVID Cases Slowly Rising in Santa Monica

By Jorge Casuso

November 8, 2022 — Coronavirus cases have been steadily rising in Santa Monica over the past month, mirroring a countywide trend, according to LA County Public Health data.

There were 94 COVID cases in the City of 93,000 last week, up from 51 three weeks ago. That brings the total number of cases to 24,425 since a health emergency was declared in March 2020.

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Two virus-related deaths have been reported over the past month, bringing the total to 276, according to County data. COVID-related deaths typically take about two weeks to be reported.

“For the past month, LA County has been noting signals that the COVID-19 case rate may no longer be declining locally,” County health officials said.

“The steady decline observed since July appeared to plateau in mid-October,” health officials said.

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Countywide, the 7-day average case count has been rising steadily over the past week from 988 to 1,083 on Friday, a nearly 10 percent increase.

Over the same seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in LA County hospitals increased, from 389 to 403.

Most of those hospitalized were admitted for conditions unrelated to COVID and only learned they were infected after being tested.

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According to the latest County data, in August 2021, 81 percent of those hospitalized with COVID were admitted with a COVID-associated illness, while the remaining 19 percent were admitted for an unrelated reason.

A year later, 40 percent of those hospitalized with COVID were admitted with a virus-associated illness, while 60 percent only learned they had the virus after being admitted.

The Omicron variant that began taking hold a year ago is far more contagious but also less deadly, according to the data.

The death rate during the first half of 2021 was 95.9 COVID-related deaths for every 1,000 residents or more than three times the rate of 30.1 deaths per 100,000 during the same period this year.

COVID is now the second leading cause of death behind heart disease, which had a fatality rate of 47.5. The death rate for diabetes at 15.5 was helped that of COVID, while the flu and pneumonia had a death rate of 7.1.

Omicron BA.5 — which accounted for 99.5 percent of US cases at the beginning of the year — continues to be the dominant subvariant, but it is accounting for a smaller proportion of samples each week, Health officials said.

In mid-October, BA.5 accounted for about 72 percent of sequenced specimens, while BF.7, a descendant of BA.5, made up the second largest proportion of cases sequenced at 7.8 percent.

On Sunday there were 1,433 new confirmed cases of COVID in the County of more than 10 million, down from 31,576 cases in mid-January during the height of the Omicron spread, according to County Health data.

Since the coronavirus began spreading in early 2020, there have been 3,497,583 confirmed cases and 34,023 virus-related deaths reported countywide.

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